Zhang Yiming, who helped found the parent company of TikTok, the Chinese internet conglomerate ByteDance, and turned it into a global giant, will step down as managing director at the end of the year to focus on long-term strategies, he wrote in a letter to employees from Wednesday.
Liang Rubo, ByteDance’s co-founder and HR director, will take over the management.
“After handing over my role as CEO and freeing myself from the responsibilities of day-to-day management, I have the opportunity to explore long-term strategies, organizational culture and social responsibility with a more objective perspective on the company,” Zhang wrote.
Mr. Zhang, 38, is also the chairman of ByteDance. The letter ByteDance posted on its website did not address whether the leadership change would affect his role in that position.
ByteDance was founded in 2012 and is China’s first truly global internet company. TikTok has achieved commercial success and cultural impact that none of the country’s other technology powerhouses outside of China’s borders has achieved.